We did not have a reservation for lunch and when we arrived at Le Camondo, the very pretty restaurant designed in the former carriage house of the eponymous Museum, there was not much effort made to accommodate us. We sat at the bar and had a glass of wine, finally ordered some food and watched the crowds of office-people-who-want-to-have-a-leisurely-lunch walk in. A large group of women only were probably there to celebrate Women’s day, some business men with the pretentious look of advertising executives, were sitting down and the Italian maître d’ was nice but not helpful. Who did we think we were to show up without booking?
The place opened last summer in the Musée Nissim de Camondo, a 19 th century house built on parc Monceau and filled with fantastic 18 th century furniture that no one is unfortunately interested in, anymore. It belongs to MAD, musée des Arts décoratifs and was a deserted site for many years.
Now thanks to trendy food and chef Alexis le Tadic, it is alive again. We chose foie gras which was excellent but served in very small portions, and raviolis de gambas à la menthe, which were average and took half an hour to come. The “millefeuille de blettes multicolores with tarama and apple” was basically just a little salad and desserts, a Mont Blanc (my favorite) was minimalist, the cheese cake my friend took was fine.
As we were sitting at the bar, I watched the waiter put the glasses (under my nose) in the dishwasher during the whole lunch (not very nice) and was wondering whether he noticed how unpleasant it was? I must say, it is four pm and I now feel quite hungry after this very light but quite expensive (50€ per person with two glasses of wine) lunch.
The decor is fabulous though, and when it’s not raining, one can sit outside under the palm trees. It is typically a trendy spot to take your new girl or beau out or probably a lovely place for an early drink or tea. The staff have been taught to be nice but run up and down from the kitchen and service is very slow. They wear suede aprons and jeans and all have a beard!
If it entices you to visit the fabulous museum next door, then it is a great success!
Le Camondo, 61 bis rue de Monceau, Paris 8. Booking is mandatory, tel: 0145634040. Open every day from Monday to Saturday and from midday to midnight.
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